- Hannah Kamath
10 ways the Renter Support Fund had an impact in 2021
Updated: Mar 3, 2022
1. The Renter Support Fund provided critical assistance to Minneapolis renters. We hear every day from renters who are in dire need of help, with hundreds or thousands of dollars owed in rent or utilities. This year alone, we received applications from over 1,000 renters and provided funding to 332 (or 33%) of those who applied. While we view this as an achievement, it also means that 67% of applicants didn't get funding. This is evidence of the extreme need for additional resources for renters in our city.
2. A little can go a long way. While the $900 that renters receive from us isn’t a ton, it makes a difference for folks living paycheck to paycheck. Over 85% of renters were at risk of losing their housing when they applied for the program. After receiving funds, 38% of renters no longer feared losing their homes. This suggests that the Renter Support Fund increases housing stability and helps renters avoid the disastrous and long-lasting impacts of losing one’s home.
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3. A majority of renters who receive funding are Black women. In a housing system that seems stacked against low-income and BIPOC renters, and especially Black mothers, the Renter Support Fund awards 86% of funding to people of color and a majority of funding to Black women. Additionally, two in five renters who receive funding have experienced homelessness, one in four identifies as having a disability, and one in five identifies as Trans or LGBTQIA+.
4. We have broad geographic reach. A majority of selected renters live in North and South Minneapolis, specifically in 55407, 55411, 55404, and 55408. But we fund renters from across the City of Minneapolis! Renters who receive funding are your neighbor, the server at your local restaurant, the social worker at the clinic down the street, and the teacher at your child’s school. Renters are integral members of our community. Your investment in our program is an investment in your community.
5. The Renter Support Fund is low-barrier, high-trust. We keep our program requirements simple, because too often, the fine print of larger programs can shut low-income renters out. We also believe that renters are best equipped to identify and fix their own housing instability, provided they have the resources to do so. Renters receive payments directly and choose how to spend the funds. A greater degree of autonomy and choice allows renters to make decisions that work for them.
6. The Renter Support Fund is small but mighty. In 2021, PPNA used less than 1FTE to administer the entire program, which maintained a budget of over $300,000, primarily from a grant with the City of Minneapolis. We use our time and money efficiently in order to support as many renters as possible. Our contract with the City ends on December 31, so your support in 2022 is essential to keep this program running. Donate now to help renters in your community!
7. We are powered by community partnerships. The Renter Support Fund was created by the Minneapolis Renters Coalition in 2018 and has been sustained by a variety of funders, including the City of Minneapolis, the Phillips West Neighborhood Organization, the Lyndale Neighborhood Association, and individual donors. We also benefit from the promotional support of nonprofits, community groups, and renters.
8. We connect renters with essential resources. Through our network of local service providers, we are able to refer renters to additional programs and resources that can help meet a variety of needs. This year, every applicant who was denied funding received information about Rent Help MN, the MN Energy Assistance Program, and tenant legal support with our friends at Home Line.
9. Our housing system is broken, and the rent is still due. Programs like the Renter Support Fund won’t unravel the power structures that often privilege developers, corporate landlords, and those with wealth. However, providing funds to renters is essential to ensuring people have what they need to get by. When tenants don’t have to worry about the rent, they can focus on other issues -- like continuing their education, starting a business, or advocating for change.
10. There are many ways to contribute to economic and racial equity. What is your role? You may be drawn towards mutual aid, organizing, educating, or other forms of care work. If that’s you, thank you. Your work is essential towards ensuring our communities can thrive. One thing many of us can do is donate. Whether that be $1, $5, or $100, by giving to the Renter Support Fund, you are stepping into your role in the movement for equity in our city.
To donate, click here and select 'Renter Support Fund' in the notes field of the donation form.
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